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Author: Ilona Bray

Ilona Bray is an attorney who gave up the active practice of law to edit and author books and articles for Nolo. Her working background includes both solo immigration practice and working or volunteering as an immigration attorney with nonprofit organizations in Seattle and California.
What Were the Drafters of the New U.S. Citizenship Exam Thinking?

What Were the Drafters of the New U.S. Citizenship Exam Thinking?

As a thought experiment, imagine what types of questions you would put on the civics exam that every immigrant who hopes to become a U.S. citizen must pass. Details of early U.S. history, perhaps? An introduction to America‚Äôs foundational or contemporary economic and social philosophy? A reminder of when to pay federal income taxes? The exam that has been in use for years contained a smattering of all of the above on its list of 100 possible questions. Starting in…

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Biggest Changes to U.S. Immigration Under President-Elect Biden?

Biggest Changes to U.S. Immigration Under President-Elect Biden?

With Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 Presidential election, all eyes are on the promises made during the course of his campaign. Many of these had to do with laws and policies concerning immigration to the United States. These were especially driven by the Trump Administration’s obvious efforts to end not only U.S. entry by undocumented persons, but all forms of legal immigration. The Biden Plan for immigration is an extensive one, covering both the short and long term….

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Time’s Running Out for Voter Registration: Are You Eligible If Born Outside the U.S.?

Time’s Running Out for Voter Registration: Are You Eligible If Born Outside the U.S.?

People born in countries outside the United States but currently living here cannot, in most cases, vote in U.S. elections unless they’ve first been lawful permanent residents (with a green card) for some years then successfully applied for naturalized U.S. citizenship. This is frustrating for many who’ve applied for citizenship, because processing government delays currently stretch months and even years. The clock is ticking for anyone wishing to vote in the next U.S. election, especially since many states require registration…

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Will New $300 Tax Deduction Spur Donations to Charity?

Will New $300 Tax Deduction Spur Donations to Charity?

The coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has made nonprofit charities in the U.S. and abroad more crucial than ever. They’re a key part of the safety net, providing support to people who are hungry, unhoused, ill, or face other life challenges. Yet the pandemic has impacted donors’ very ability to make contributions, or at least their confidence in parting with hard-earned cash given the uncertainty of the future, economic and otherwise. In a global survey of charities by CAF America, nearly…

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Lawyers Organize to Help Low-Income Persons Needing Legal Help During Pandemic

Lawyers Organize to Help Low-Income Persons Needing Legal Help During Pandemic

Hiring a lawyer when one is already financially stressed can feel like the classic Catch-22. To make yourself financially whole, you need to pursue a claim; perhaps for unemployment or medical benefits, to contest an eviction or unlawful job termination, or something else; but the very stress you’re under makes paying a lawyer an impossible prospect. And since the start of the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic, people have definitely been under real and imminent forms of financial stress. Fortunately, attorneys…

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